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  • Writer's pictureApril Blackwell

My T1D Diagnosis Story

Honestly, there isn't anything particularly unique about my diagnosis story, but maybe that's precisely why I should share it. The more people who know the signs and symptoms, the better.

Stop rolling your eyes, of course I was an astronaut for Halloween (for like 6 Halloweens - pretty much every year this jumpsuit fit).

What we all thought was just your standard run-of-the-mill December cold morphed into some odd symptoms. I was 11 years old and my grandparents were in town just like every Christmas. Normally we would stay up late playing cards and eating chocolates, but not this year. All I wanted to do was go to bed and then, once I was there I had to get up to pee 8-10 times. I was incessantly thirsty and just plain miserable.

My mom (bless her heart), thought I may be suffering from a urinary tract infection and like the good 'ol-wive' she is offered cranberry juice as a homeopathic remedy. Unbeknownst to her, this was the opposite of what my body needed. We started going to the pediatrician - and I say "started" because it felt like 5 days of going to the pediatrician, peeing in a cup and getting a blood test before they finally diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes.

I didn't need cranberry juice - I needed insulin.

To say the diagnosis was 'out of the blue' would be an understatement. I had never heard of Type 1 Diabetes and my parents seemed clouded by a fog of fear. We had no idea what the disease would entail, how our lives would change or what caused it to hit that Christmas break. And even now, 20 years later, I still don't have concrete answers to those questions. I am very much a work-in-progress-diabetic.

And her? That girl up there in the astronaut costume blissfully unaware of a rogue gene mutation that will change her life in just a couple months? I wouldn't change her a bit, or warn her it's coming, or burden her with even a single thought of diabetes. There will be a lifetime for all that later.

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